Kate
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Any good book group discussion topics or questions for this book? Thanks!

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Gaye Ingram Have you read it? I would be happy to share my views. When I first read the book, I was in my thirties. I hated it, mainly because I felt the protagonist, Laurel, was bloodless. She left a home in which she had grown up and that had been carefully tended by her mother to her widowed father's late-life second wife without resistance. That woman was tasteless, shallow, silly----everything her mother had not been. I was in my acquisitive stage. I wanted my great grandmother's bread bowl, a painting of my father's old homeplace, the silver sugar spoon I sneaked from my mother's silver drawer to dig in the sandbox. I bought antiques. I was bent on preservation. Last spring, all these years later, as I try to decide what to do with many of the things accumulated in that period of my life, I reread the book. And I liked it. I understood it and the protagonist, Laurel. She had lost a husband in war and knew one cannot hold back time, that a beloved parental home is home only when the family that made it beloved live in it. I've wondered if I read this book well. It reminds me of a short story by Peter Taylor in which a Southern woman living in Chicago loses a husband. Her extended family back in Tennessee expect her to return there, perhaps remarry. She expects that what she will do. But she doesn't. She moves into an apartment, sends most of the family heirlooms back south, and starts again. I didn't really get that one either when I first read it. Homeplaces and heirlooms matter a lot in traditional cultures like the American South and parts of New England. I wonder if we look at them differently in your youth and age?
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